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Schoolboy who raised £260k for charity leaps aboard East End Somalia famine challenge

PUBLISHED: 18:00 20 September 2011

Charlie Simpson meets fellow bike riders in Stepney Green Park

Charlie Simpson meets fellow bike riders in Stepney Green Park

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A schoolboy with a track record for pulling in jumbo sums for charity has hooked up with East End youngsters to give their Somali famine fund a massive boost.

Nine-year-old Charlie Simpson made headlines around the world last year when his sponsored bike ride for the victims of the Haiti earthquake went viral and he ended up with a sum of more than £250,000.

A group of Stepney schoolchildren on a mission to raise cash for the estimated 12 million people affected by the famine in the Horn of Africa have now enlisted his expertise.

On Monday Charlie headed to Redlands Primary School to psyche up his peers for the cycling challenge they set themselves.

The schoolchildren came up with the idea that if 445 of them cycled two laps of Stepney Green Park each it would make up the equivalent distance from Mogadishu to Dadaab in Kenya – the place Somalis are heading to flee the famine.

Many of the children taking part have family and friends still living in Somalia and have been thinking up ways to raise money for the region.

The race is part of a series of events, including a fun day at Mile End Park last month, which youngsters from Tower Hamlets have been directly involved in.

Charlie, who is fundraising for Unicef, as in his last challenge, said: “I saw the famine on the news and I asked my mum to call Unicef about it. The bike ride is hard work but in the end you feel quite happy with yourself.”

One child is dying of starvation every six minutes in Somalia, according to Unicef.

The race will take place at 3.30pm on Wednesday September 28.

Sponsor the children at unicef.org.uk/bike4somalia

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